SURPRISE! by Caroline Hadilaksono


Age Range: 4 - 8
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A story about a woodland party that offers a surprise to all the guests!

There is an oft-quoted saying that familiarity breeds contempt. Bear, Raccoon, and Squirrel suffer from that dreaded malaise, long-standing pals that they are. It’s not so easy to make new friends, they soon discover. So what will save our heroes from ennui? Why, the arrival of unexpected humans from the city, of course! And what would new city friends like? Why, a surprise welcome party, of course! Bear, Raccoon, and Squirrel get right to work on assembling food, entertainment, and decorations, all “splendid,” of course. But though the surprise doesn’t go as planned—a whole double-page spread proclaiming “SURPRISE!” is indeed unexpected for these urban campers—sometimes that can be the best solution of all for the friends. Watercolor-and-gouache illustrations, finished digitally, perfectly capture the charm and whimsy of this sylvan tale of friendships new and old. Eagle-eyed readers will catch the humorous origins of these party elements, and the comic-book–style speech bubbles add an additional level of humor and drama. The author’s decision to include a family of color adds a nice detail of daily diversity to this animal-filled tale.

Pine-cone party hats, a camping trip gone awry, and three creative compatriots make for a rollicking read-aloud, perfect for summer campfires. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 25th, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-338-13919-8
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Levine/Scholastic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2018


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